E3 First Impressions: WWE '12
Posted on Sunday, June 12 @ 12:41:25 PST by Nicholas Tan
As an annual franchise, WWE titles tend to differentiate themselves with minor adjustments in the career mode and the fighting mechanics. The two-player demo for Xbox 360 at E3 2011 didn't show anything on the former, but it revealed Yuke's new direction of the latter: anti-spamming. It confirms that Yuke's and THQ are developers who regularly listen to their fans and always try to deliver the best game every year.
Though the demo only featured a roster of four wrestlers - Alberto del Rio, John Cena, The Miz, and Randy Orton - it became immediately clear that players can no longer exploit the run button with the introduction of an adrenaline bar, which works like the stamina bar. In multiplayer matches in prior WWE titles, less-than-admirable players could escape the ring and run around to waste time or over-use dashing attacks and grapples. Now, running only lasts about four to six seconds depending on the wrestler's adrenaline attribute and recovers only after two seconds of cooldown.
As before, players can perform signature moves after building their momentum meter close to peak and then perform or store a finisher when the meter is full. This time around, however, it's done differently. To execute a finisher at maximum strength, the player needs to do it within fifteen seconds of earning one; otherwise, it is automatically stored for a slightly weaker finisher. The good news, though, is that players can store a seemingly infinite amount of finishers, or at least three. Even better, certain wrestlers like Randy Orton can do a wake-up taunt when an opponent is on the mat, so that the opponent is standing, groggy, and ready for pain.
Superstars with the comeback ability can, as the name implies, get back to their feet after being knocked around like in a real scripted wrestling match. For about ten seconds, the wrestler will have a fully charged momentum meter and, by running at the opponent with a clothesline, can initiate a brief mini-game that tests how fast you and an opponent can press the 'Y' button after being given the prompt. Similarly, the mini-game for the submission system has changed to a "breaking point" bar that builds up and down in a simple button-mash mini-game.
Except for the added depth of field for the crowd and smoother animations, not much more could be gathered from the demo. The fighting system generally remains intact. I have word from the developers that they're thinking about giving each wrestler about fourteen attributes, including toughness, grapple offense and defense, and general power. But it's still too early to tell where WWE '12 is heading, though it's sure to sell wherever it goes. Check Game Revolution for an in-depth preview later this year.
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